Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >
Mar 25, 2006 02:40 PM

BEST cup of coffee in the Twin Cities??

  • m

and let's EXclude starbucks, caribou and dunn bros.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. a
    Arthur Latz-Hall

    The Bean Factory on Randolph in St. Paul gets my vote.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Arthur Latz-Hall

      I'd second the Bean Factory vote. Especially if you get something from the "brew bar" - where they'll serve up an individually drip-brewed cup of whatever bean you want.

      1. re: diesel

        Minnehaha Coffee on 46th and Minnehaha uses Alterra beans
        (a Milwaukee roaster) and serves Boars Head meats in their sandwiches. It is an old Phillips 66 gas station building that has been renovated. The owner is installing an outdoor grill in their back patio area.

        Their espresso is as good as it gets in this town, IMHO.

        1. re: diesel

          Third vote for Bean Factory on Randolph; try a cup of the Double Dark.

      2. I'd have to vote for Ginkgo on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, and a newly opened little shop in my neighborhood called Java Train on Pascal St.

        There are lots of coffee shops out there that serve pretty poor coffee, IMNSHO.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rowdy

          Where on Pascal is Java Train located?

          1. re: diesel

            I'm not sure of the exact address, but it's at Midway Parkway and Pascal, just up a little bit on the left. Midway Parkway goes right off Snelling at the main entrance into the State Fair, and Pascal is just about 3 blocks east of Snelling.

            Hope that helps. It's a good place to take kids too, as there's a little play area.

            1. re: Rowdy

              Thats called Java Train (in Como Park. well, not in the park but in the neighborhood)

              --but YUCK!

              Cute atmosphere, terrible coffee, drab baked goods, dinsinterested help, high prices.

              I keep going there because our kids have fun, but I'll stop as soon as I can!!

              1. re: eatoatmeal

                Ya know, I'd have to agree with you now. My current favorite is Bean Factory at Thomas and Hamline in St. Paul. It's far superior to Java train, and even Ginkgo.

                And you're spot on about the other aspects of Java Train too.

                1. re: eatoatmeal

                  Oh no! I'm so disappointed to hear that about Java Train. I just uncovered it about a month ago and had been curious. It looks like such a cute, neighborhoody place from the outside, I had high hopes. Oh well.


            2. re: Rowdy

              Java Train is quite overpriced and the times Ive been there Ive had to explain the most basic of drinks to them. Seriously, not good. Cute space but annoying owners who also don't like lingering.

              Gingko is OK with nice folk music and hit or miss coffee depending on whos working.

              Dunn Bros on Grand is the original and not part of the chain, their barristas are a far better and its not fair to lump them with the franchises, but the place is usually packed with wifi squatters so no room.

              Bean Factory is in a class by itself--oustanding!

            3. Why exclude Dunn Bros? They do roast their beans on the premises and imo that makes a big difference. They're uneven but the Dunn Bros on Hennepin & 34th is excellent and ditto the one in Linden Hills.

              Betsy's on Nicollet & 54th is very good.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Plautus

                I agree, I love Dunn Bros. Their coffee is fresh and most are locally owned.. The hennepin and 34th is great, as well as the Anoka Dunn bros!

                1. re: michelleallen

                  I will also step up and ask "Why not Dunn Bros.?" They brew a wonderfully rich cup of coffee with tons of flavor, not overbrewed crap like Starbucks or weak flavorless junk like Caribou, and even with being a chain, they are held to pretty strict standards. I once sat through a coffee seminar with Ed Dunn and he is so knowledgeable but also very, very precise about how it's done. I know it will never disappoint.

                2. re: Plautus

                  why exclude Dunn Bros? Their beans might be roasted well but I've yet to meet a barista at any Dunn Bros location who can make a proper shot, let alone make the microfoam necessary for a good cappuccino. yes I'm snobby.

                3. Try Coffee Creek at Highway 7 and Hopkins Cross Road in Hopkins in the same strip center as Lunds. They are an independent under new ownership of a mother/daughter team competing with both Starbucks and Caribou at the same intersection. They specialize in organic coffee, Wicked Good Coffee, and Soy based coffee.

                  Support the independents!

                  1. The Specialty Coffee Association of America has awarded several Twin Cities Indy Coffeehouses a Golden Cup Award. Which means they brew exceptional coffee. They use the right amount of coffee to water, the right grind, fresh beans, have the right H2o filters.

                    Here are some of the winners
                    Tillie's Bean S. Mpls
                    The Bean Scene (multiple winner)N. Mpls
                    Gigi's S.Mpls
                    Luna Blue Rogers
                    Amore Coffee St. Paul
                    Cahoots St. Paul
                    Boulevard Coffee, St. Francis
                    Central Perk, Anoka
                    Clicquot Club Cafe S. Mpls